Experts have claimed that everyone works differently. One person works best in one environment, and another person works better in another environment.

However, in a world with constant access to phones and computers, it can be difficult for even the hardest worker to stay on task.

It’s even worse when working from home, where partners, friends, and children provide yet another possible distraction to finishing work.

If you’ve made the choice to take a class online, attempt to work from home, or even run your own business from a home office, these are just a handful of the common distractions you’re going to be faced with.

One of the things that are so attractive about working from home, whether you’re taking online classes such as those offered by Stratford Career Institute or running your small business, is that you can determine what to do when.

However, if you fill your days with binge-watching the latest trendy series on television, talking to people on social media, or even playing with the kids in the yard because the sun is out and it’s a beautiful day, you’ll never get anything done.

Below, we’ll talk about the most common workplace distractions and just what you can do to defeat them and to ensure you get your work done.

Common Distractions

The five most common distractions are precisely what most people would think they are.workplace distractions


Everyone likes to watch television.  Some people even like to have it on in the background while they work, since it provides a ‘white noise’ effect.

However, 14.4% of those between the age of 18 and 24, and 39.2% of those 55 to 64, say that television is the main thing that distracts them from getting work done.

It’s easy to understand how television can be distracting, especially in the age of Netflix and Hulu.  You look up from your television to watch five seconds of a movie, and suddenly you’re watching the entire series.


The internet has made it easier than ever for people to get work done and to access information.  It’s also one of the most present workplace distractions.

Almost every computer and mobile device, whether it’s at home or at a business, has access to the internet. The internet is infinite in the distractions it has to offer, from the ability to online shop or to watch YouTube videos that have nothing to do with your work or education.

It’s very easy to end up simply exploring the internet. If you’re hoping to accomplish a goal, you must resist that urge.


In many ways, your phone likely offers the same comforts and functions as the first two distractions on this list with the added distraction of people who you can talk to.

Everyone has that friend who can call and hog the phone for an hour, making it impossible to concentrate, let alone get work done. Let them know you’ll call them back.

Social Media

Social media is becoming an important part of everyone’s life, whether they like it or not.  Sure, there’s the odd person who has no social media presence, but most people are constantly connected to it via their smart phones and their computers.

Talking to people on social media, or, even worse, debating with people on social media, is a terrible way to spend your day–you’ll get nothing done.


Even though we love them, children can also distract you from accomplishing your goals. If you are able, try to have another adult or older child around when you are studying. That other person can play with and take care of your children while you get your work done.

Ways to Minimize Distractions

What can be done to deal with these common distractions?  No person can sequester themselves entirely while they’re working, especially when that work involves an online presence and internet connection, after all.

Here are a few tips for getting through a work day while minimizing distractions.

Make A Schedule

Whether you’re studying or working, a schedule can help. Set aside a certain time in the day for working. By doing so, you can hold yourself to that schedule and let others know that you are not available during those hours.

Go Full Screen And Minimize Notifications

You can mute your phone and make your web browser or word processor take up the entirety of your computer screen.

Some people’s computers show a small ‘notification’ window whenever they get an email or when someone interacts with them on social media. It’s much easier to avoid the impulse to click over to such accounts if you don’t see these notification windows.

Track How You’re Spending Your Time

There are a number of methods you can use to track how long you’ve been working on various work tasks.  If you’re interested, you can use a time tracker to tell you how long you were using an app or playing around on a website.

A visual representation can convince you that maybe your habits need to change in order to better keep you on task.

Keep Distracting Coworkers and Friends At Bay

Nothing is more of a distraction than someone trying to convince you to talk or to get up and leave your workspace. Whether that someone is friend or a co-worker, it is OK to politely tell them you have to finish your work before doing anything else. If you are able to wear them, earbuds or headphones, especially noise-cancelling ones, can also help send the signal that you do not want to be disturbed.

Don’t Go Overboard With Your Focus

Your mind cannot possibly focus eternally on one thing. It is not designed to do so.

Keep this in mind and realize that while limiting distractions is a good thing, eliminating all distractions can make you miserable and your work may suffer.

Learning Online

Learning online is a great opportunity for you to make your own schedule and study in a manner that is best designed for you and how you learn most effectively. You can beat your workplace distractions!

Stratford Career Institute offers many online courses from creative careers such as floral design to more technically-focused areas of study such as small engine repair, so we know that there is a course for you.

Browse through our catalog and enroll today!

Data of survey used for graphic.


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